Daily Update for July 22
YESTERDAY: Fire crews continued making progress completing fire suppression objectives and no substantial growth has occurred on the fire in three days. Crews removed hoses and water pumps where there was a reduced threat of the fire compromising the containment line. Helispots around the fire area were repaired by scattering the log pad and pulling brush back over the area. Wood chippers were used to remove brush piles on secondary containment lines, to help reduce the amount of fuel load. Helicopters dropped water to cool hot spots in the Upper Jean Lake area. Crews continued to search and extinguish hot spots up to 300 feet from the containment line. The remaining portion of the fire was closely monitored by air.
TODAY: Since fire growth potential remains, given the current hot and dry weather conditions, firefighters will continue to monitor hot-spots from the air and ground while mopping-up and repairing miles of fireline. The Thurman and Mystery Creek drainages will produce smoke as the fire creeps and smolders in the drainages. Interior pockets of unburned fuel may continue to burn and produce smoke until a season-ending precipitation occurs. As fire activity decreases, some fire crews, support staff and equipment will demobilize.
WEATHER: Conditions will be similar as yesterday with the temperature being slightly warmer. A system from the east is expected to move into the area and may reach the fire by the evening hours.
AIR QUALITY: Smoke will be evident in Cooper Landing and along the Sterling Highway corridor again today. For smoke forecasts from Alaska wildfires, visit UAFSMOKE at http://smoke.alaska.edu.
SUMMARY:The Kenai Peninsula experiences fire annually, however, the area of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge where the fire is burning has not seen fire since 1947. Historically, there is no record of fire in the higher elevations. Natural fire on the landscape will remove areas of black spruce to reduce future large-scale fire impacts and create more fire resilient communities.
SAFETY: Watch for construction zones and smoke along the Sterling Highway. Helicopters will be active in the southeast corner of the fire along Sterling highway near Upper Jean Lake. Please obey the speed limit and do not stop along the highway shoulder in order to protect firefighters, construction crews, and other drivers. Alaska State Troopers and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Law Enforcement Officers are monitoring for visibility impacts due to smoke and fog on Sterling and Seward Highways. Please use headlights. For current road conditions visit http://511.alaska.gov. The Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) includes the western portion of the Chugach National Forest and the Sterling Highway corridor. Violators of the TFR will be reported to the FAA. The use of drones in the TFR and the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge are not permitted. Current TFR details and NOTAM 9/0573 is available at: https://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_9_0573.html.
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Categories: AK Fire Info